Last February, I walked all over La Laguna, La Orotava, and Santa Cruz, the capital, sort of urban trekking, if you will. La Laguna and La Orotava are little towns, both filled with colonial-era architecture and historic character. La Laguna is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its colonial buildings: homes, churches, public spaces. The mostly sixteenth to nineteenth century houses are generally a bit shabby by now, but they are still filled with memories of mariners stopping over during voyages from the Continent to points west and South.
The image below is of the Real Santuario del Santísimo Cristo de La Laguna, widely considered to be the holiest place in the islands because of the crucifix believed to be gifted from Seville in the sixteenth century.
My arrival in Tenerife conicided with the start of Carnaval. Good news for partiers, as Santa Cruz’s Carnaval is considered second only to Rio’s! I’m not much of a party animal, but I didn’t mind; I visited Santa Cruz on one of the quiet days, so I missed the craziness but got to see some of the color anyway — the best of both worlds!
Part of the local color was especially colorful. Look closely; these are fellas in drag. They were dancing some mean salsa in those dresses, and one was singing his heart out.
Below, see some examples of aforementioned art and architecture; it is an inspiring city, indeed.
Highly recommended, but if you go around Carnaval, it won’t be like summer. It will be comfortable, but not beach weather. Be aware, also, that Carnaval changes everything, especially in Santa Cruz. If you’re a big partier, you’ll love it. If you aren’t, maybe you should schedule your trip for another time.
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